A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cooking Frenzy

I got fired up today and made granola, blueberry jam, and an Italian supper of salmon, fettucine with peas and saffron, and yellow peppers with mint.

I think this is happening because I'm happy to be home after being away for four of the last six weeks; and also because I've started a regimen of piano practice for a September program, and I love to alternate practice with cooking, just like I did when you were a baby.

The granola was a Joy of Cooking recipe with no sugar or salt, just toasted oatmeal with nuts and dried fruits. I'm looking forward to it for breakfast tomorrow with yogurt.

Blueberries are one dollar a pint now. We've stuffed in all the fresh ones we can eat, so I made a small batch of microwave jam.

In this hot summer weather I turn to Mediterranean recipes. My current favorites are Viana La Place's Verdura and Mireille Johnstons's Cuisine of the Sun.

The pasta was real Italian fettucine, so good after the whole wheat and rice pastas I've been trying to use. Saffron, peas, and green onions were delicious together, garnished with fresh basil. This was also a Viana La Place recipe.

Here is La Place's yellow pepper recipe. I couldn't handle her advice to garnish the peppers with raw garlic, so I added the garlic to the skillet for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time.

Fried Yellow Peppers with Mint
2 fat yellow or orange bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Trim the peppers and sliver them lengthwise. Heat the olive oil until very hot and add the peppers, stirring until they have brown spots. Reduce heat, add salt, and cook covered until they are tender. A minute or so before they are done, stir in the garlic.

Off heat, add the vinegar, check seasoning, and stir in the mint. Serve at room temperature.

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